Celebrate leap day like never before

Today is Feb. 29, leap day of a leap year.

Today is a day we did not get last year and one we will not see the next. This year, we get the standard 365 plus one, a sort of motor oil that keeps the calendar running right.

And aren't you excited?

Today is the forgotten balled-up $5 bill you discover deep down in the pocket of your jeans, waiting to be spent.

If I ruled the world (or even held low-level elected office) I would push for Leap Day to be an official holiday, at least for those willing to follow the rules.

Leap Day would be a sort of variation on the Bill Murray Groundhog Day theme in which you live the same day over and over until you get it right. Or maybe more akin to that Seinfeld episode in which George did everything opposite.

On Leap Day, we would do what we wouldn't on any other.

On the way to work, we would surprise other drivers by making room for them to merge into traffic instead of gunning it in the Sorry, Buddy, I Was Here First tradition. We would hope that the shock of our bizarre behavior would not cause a series of multicar pileups.

Today, we dial up a radio station we would normally never deign to listen to — hip-hop, country, a fishing show, some inane talk radio.

Yes, for some of us this will mean subjecting ourselves to the bloviations of, say, Rush Limbaugh. (Hey, I didn't say Leap Day would be all fun and games.)

For others, it's tuning into lefty liberal talk, even if that means listening to someone earnestly and sincerely touting Ralph Nader for president. (Hopefully this time around we're talking egomaniacal gnat rather than candidate with the potential to spoil a critical election.)

Maybe today, we hold the elevator for those cigarette-break stragglers rather than madly mashing the buttons to get that door closed fast. Today, we do not worry with annoyance that their noxious fumes will cling to our clothes, our hair, for the rest of the day.

Should we happen to be said smokers, well, maybe today we just won't.

Today we consider some issue on which our own opinion is already dead set in concrete — whether the Rays should get a new stadium, what we think of Mark Luns­ford's lawsuit, the right way to handle the homeless, Florida's (non) role in the Democratic presidential primary. And then we try to see, really see, the other guy's argument. Hey, it's just today, okay?

Today we leave our change in the Coke machine for the next guy to find.

We say "How's it going" to that perpetually sour person we regularly encounter on our daily travels.

By the way, about today: if you happen to be a woman who lately has been thinking of proposing marriage to someone, this may be your year. That's according to an old leap year folk tradition from back when such a thing would be wildly scandalous rather than just mildly interesting.

Today, maybe some of us make up our minds on who would be our best next president — not on personality points (or lack thereof), not on political party, but because of our precarious position in the world, and because of where we want to go next.

Don't worry — tomorrow is Saturday, and the world will right itself.

Happy Leap Day.

Celebrate leap day like never before 02/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:18am]

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